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C-listed Mugdock tower to rise again as a family home

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January 5 2021

C-listed Mugdock tower to rise again as a family home

A C-listed tower near Mugdock Country Park, Stirling, is to be restored as part of plans to establish a subterranean family home some 6m below its present base.

Craigend Folly once stood as an ornamental octagonal tower on top of a steep hill but only its lower floor now survives after being partially dismantled, with surviving stonework stacked within the tower footprint.

This is where NVDC Architects step in after being commissioned by the site owners to build living accommodation arranged around a series of courtyards dug out from the round, minimising intrusion on the tower and landscape with only a few stone retaining walls being visible.

Espousing their design narrative the practice wrote: "Following discussions with the project engineer (Structural Partnership) we were advised that the remains of the tower structure displayed significant movement and thus the rebuilding of the tower had to be carried out atop new foundations. Both the need to excavate the land for the new foundations and our desire to create a house that would embrace the tower at the core of the design resulted in the idea of `building into the landscape`.

"The outcome of this process was the design of a bespoke contemporary home that fits naturally into the topography of the site whilst acting as a pedestal on which the newly restored Craigend Folly can proudly sit atop."

As part of the works it will be necessary to construct a sweeping access road, permitting public access to the tower on scheduled open days.

6m of earth will be dug out around the tower base to build new foundations and a family home
6m of earth will be dug out around the tower base to build new foundations and a family home
The tower has been dismantled to ground floor level with rubble dumped inside
The tower has been dismantled to ground floor level with rubble dumped inside

8 Comments

Murdo Mctosh
#1 Posted by Murdo Mctosh on 7 Jan 2021 at 22:01 PM
The locals know this as Smith's Folly, which I believe was knocked down by the present owner?
This replacement hardly does justice to the original . It looks a bit like a 1950s single storey hospital with an incinerator chimney sticking out the top!! I can't believe it will get planning permission.
John Elizabeth
#2 Posted by John Elizabeth on 9 Jan 2021 at 17:43 PM
I can't see how "rebuilding ... the tower ... atop new foundations" satisfies its listed status - it seems the best tribute to the tower would be for the current owner (I'd also heard the rumour that they had demolished it in the first place) would be to leave it in its current state. And I concur with the previous comment re. the tower's naming: it was definitely never known as 'Craigend Folly"!
AJ McBrayne
#3 Posted by AJ McBrayne on 13 Jan 2021 at 22:12 PM
I can't believe the architect has ever visited this site. Slicing 6-7m off the hill to "build into the landscape" is totally impractical, as there is no soil, only solid basalt (a volcanic dyke). I calculate this as about 15,000 tonnes of rock - hardly an environmental friendly or low carbon emissions project. And where is the spoil going? A scary prospect for those in the property just below the cliff. We presume the tower will be built first and not quietly forgotten as too difficult and costly??
Philip Graves
#4 Posted by Philip Graves on 13 Jan 2021 at 22:16 PM
Read the comments above. We are in the house below and, yes, are scared about the prospect of rock-blasting above our house. We witnessed the tower being knocked over without any consultation or permission. We would like to see a realistic quote for rebuilding the tower, and this project completed before any other work is started.
Joe Logan
#5 Posted by Joe Logan on 16 Jan 2021 at 19:46 PM
Saint Peters Seminary Cardross and other notable historic buildings at risk in Scotland could benefit from the approach shown here by NVDC. This planning example should be fully supported and the solutions to the technical issues used as a positive and published case study. Joe Logan Glasgow
phil graves
#6 Posted by phil graves on 21 Jan 2021 at 18:35 PM
With due respect to the previous comment, the technical issues are a bit more insurmountable here than at Cardross, I suspect. I make it over 18,000 tonnes of rock needs to be blasted off the top of the hill to meet the architects' design. And this is supposed to be green belt, on the edge of an SSSI......
Philip Graves
#7 Posted by Philip Graves on 26 Jan 2021 at 11:56 AM
And I see Scottish Civic Trust has published an objection.....
Philip Graves
#8 Posted by Philip Graves on 5 Feb 2021 at 09:39 AM
Glad to see this has now been withdrawn.

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